Parents' Home Ownership and Support for Adult Children Across Europe

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 5:45 PM
Room: 422
Oral Presentation
Martin KOHLI , Dept of Social and Political Sciences, European University Institute, San Domenico di Fiesole, Italy
Marco ALBERTINI , University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
The degree to which economic well-being depends on the support provided by the family of origin varies considerably across welfare regimes. Thus, while Scandinavian countries are characterised by an high level of defamilialization, Continental Europe follows a model of supported familialism. The Mediterranean countries are best described as adopting a model of familialism by default. In our previous research, we have shown that what changes from one model to the other is not only the relevance and strength of the family ties, but also the strategies adopted by parents to support their adult children’s own family projects.

The present paper, based on data from SHARE and SHARELIFE, examines how parents’ housing careers are related to the transmission of economic resources from parents to children, and how this varies across different welfare contexts. First, we will analyse the extent to which parent’s home ownership status affects the likelihood that children co-reside with their family of origin. Our preliminary results suggest that, ceteris paribus, parents who rent their home are less likely to support their adult children through co-residence. Secondly, we want to analyse how parents’ own housing experience affects the strategy that they adopt to support their adult children. For instance, does the fact that parents received support in buying their present home lead them to help their children in turn? Also, a number of other experiences – such as ownership status of one’s first home after the exit from the parental home, age when establishing one’s own household, or special events in one’s housing history – are likely to affect the strategy that parents adopt in supporting their adult children. Most importantly, the role played by parents’ housing experience is likely to vary across different welfare contexts.